Buy Alaska Miles for 1.97 Cents. Best Five Alaska Awards!

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Until June 13, 2016, you can buy Alaska Airlines miles for as little as 1.97 cents each. You have to log in to your account at this link to see your offer. People are being offered bonuses of 35% to 50% on purchased miles.

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The sale is structured as a bonus on the normal number of miles you’d receive. The bonus is tiered, so the biggest 35%-50% bonus comes from purchasing 50,000 to 60,000 miles at the normal price of about 2.96 cents each after tax.

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If you get a 50% bonus, it costs $1,478.13 to buy 75,000 miles (50k + 25k bonus) during this sale.

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  • If your bonus for buying 50,000+ miles is 35%, you can buy miles for 2.19 cents each.
  • If your bonus for buying 50,000+ miles is 40%, you can buy miles for 2.11 cents each.
  • If your bonus for buying 50,000+ miles is 50%, you can buy miles for 1.97 cents each.

While each purchase is limited to 60,000 miles plus bonus, you can make unlimited purchases during the sale, so you can buy unlimited miles.

I don’t think Alaska miles are worth 1.97 cents each, but they are worth close to that, and if you have a specific redemption in mind, it is not hard to get more than 1.97 cents of value per mile.

Airlines on which You Can Redeem Alaska Miles

Here are the Alaska partners on which you can redeem. (Note: AeroMexico awards have been unavailable since October 2015.)

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Five Favorite Redemptions

Here are my five favorite redemptions with Alaska miles:

 1. Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific First Class costs 70,000 Alaska miles one way from the United States to Asia or Africa with a free stopover in Hong Kong, or 80,000 miles one way to Australia or New Zealand, again with a free stopover possible in Hong Kong.

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Cathay Pacific Premium Economy to Asia is only 35,000 Alaska miles one way and Business Class is only 50,000.

If you buy Alaska miles for 1.97 cents each, any of these awards would be a significant discount off the retail price.

Here is my review of Cathay Pacific First Class.

2. American Airlines Flights at Pre-Devaluation Prices

Alaska still charges the same number of miles for American Airlines flights that American Airlines charged until its massive March 22, 2016 devaluation. Some steals (prices listed one way):

  • 20,000 Alaska miles for seven months out of the year in economy to Europe
  • 20,000 Alaska miles for five months out of the year in economy to Southern South America
  • 25,000 Alaska miles for six months out of the year in economy to Japan
  • 30,000 Alaska miles to Peru or Northern South America in Business Class
  • 50,000 Alaska miles in Business Class to Europe, Japan, or Southern South America
  • 62,500 Alaska miles in Business Class to Australia or New Zealand
3. Fiji Airways Business Class

You can fly from the United States to Fiji to New Zealand or Australia for only 55,000 Alaska miles one way in Business Class with a free stopover in Fiji.

4. Hainan Business Class

Alaska charges just 50,000 miles each way in Hainan flat bed Business Class to anywhere in Asia.

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Unfortunately there are fuel surcharges of about $140 per direction.

Full details on booking Hainan flights with Alaska miles.

5. Icelandair

Icelandair awards start at 22,500 miles one way to Iceland or 55,000 miles one way in Business Class to Europe with a stopover in Iceland.

Unfortunately there are fuel surcharges of about $100 per direction on these awards.

Full details on booking Icelandair awards with Alaska miles.

Alaska Airlines Award Routing Rules

Alaska Airlines is extremely generous allowing a stopover on one way awards, anywhere you’d like en route.

Here are the basics for redemptions of Alaska miles.

Logistics of Buying Alaska Miles

Unlike many miles sales when you are capped at how many miles you can buy, with Alaska miles sales, you can make several maximum purchases to get all the miles you need.

Remember that Alaska Airlines miles sales are handled through points.com, so they are not considered airfare or travel purchases for the purposes of earning a category bonus on your credit card.

Bottom Line

Alaska miles are on sale until June 13, 2016 for as little as 1.97 cents each. While that’s too high of a price to buy speculatively, it is a good price if you have an immediate high value use for the miles.

Sale Link: Log into your Alaska account here to see the size of your bonus


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Any suggestions on getting to South Africa from Eastern US in Business class with Alaska miles? KLM – Air France redemption experience? Other suggestions? Thanks!

    • Rich T, In May 2014, husband used 140K Alaska miles to fly from ATL to CDG-to JNB round trip biz class on Air France. Had 1 one month “stopover” at CDG, then caught another Air France flight to JNB, when we were refreshed, already adjusted to tthe time change and did 1 month of safaris in South Africa. As I recall, routing was impossible to find on the chart, so husband called Alaska and found an agent who worked with him to find a booking. He may have had to call a couple of times to find a helpful agent. In looking back at when our safari was booked, I would say that husband got the tickets booked with Alaska early part of Feb. 2014 for a May 9, 2014 departure to CDG.

    • From the post: “Remember that Alaska Airlines miles sales are handled through points.com, so they are not considered airfare or travel purchases for the purposes of earning a category bonus on your credit card.”

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